Coca-Cola Consolidated Co has reported a drop in sales for the first half of 2009, but saw net profits almost double for the period.

Net sales for the six months to the end of June fell to US$714m, down from $733.7m in the same period of 2008, Coca-Cola Consolidated Co said yesterday (6 August).

Half-year net earnings nearly doubled, to $20.7m from $10.8m last year, despite a drop in the second quarter, to $12.2m from $15.1m last year.

J Frank Harrison III, group chairman and CEO, said the soft drinks bottler was "satisfied" with the performance.

"Our team has implemented several new price / package and brand building initiatives and continues to focus intently on operational efficiencies and cost management strategies," he said, adding that the bottler is working closely with The Coca-Cola Co to improve distribution.

"We have many challenges as we look ahead to the second half of 2009 and into 2010, but we have taken the opportunity during the tough times of the past year to position ourselves for future long-term succes," said Harrison.

Coca-Cola Consolidated this week opened a $9m warehouse and logistics centre in Roanoke County, Virginia.